Ninety-two per cent of people believe that ‘company chairmen should be
more publicly accountable when there are problems involving their
company’. The finding comes in an exclusive PR Week/NOP poll this week.
The survey also revealed that in a crisis situation the majority of
people (61 per cent) expect the company’s top executive to be the person
who appears in the media to explain the situation.
But nearly half the sample (49 per cent) said they felt that senior
company executives do not do a good job of representing their company
when things go wrong.
The results come at a time when some senior managers are feeling wary of
the media, following the ‘witch hunt’ treatment meted out to the likes
of British Gas chief executive Cedric Brown. But the survey shows that
top executives cannot duck responsibility for the company’s reputation.
Senior PR industry figures said they were unsurprised by the results of
‘The PR Week/NOP survey is something which all CEOs in every industry
should sit up and take notice of,’ said PRCA chairman Quentin Bell. ‘PR
should be right at the top of their job description.’
IPR president Rosemary Brook said company chairmen instinctively know
that they have a responsibility to represent the company well, but they
leave the mechanics of it to someone else.
The nationwide NOP survey of 997 adults was conducted on 8-10 March.